Tuesday, October 28, 2014

just a quote..

Sums it up quite well, I think.

I think of trout as an affair of landscape-not something in it, but something of it. In Chinese, the term for landscape, shan shui, means literally "mountains and water." Roughly speaking, if you rub a mountain with cold, flowing water, you get a trout. 

-Christopher Camuto

Sunday, October 26, 2014


oh man.

that seemed to be a good,
decent post I just lost...

anyways...as I was saying.

as I have said?

It's official now, has been I guess.

I'm VP of CVTU.

VP of a nationally recognized,
award winning chapter of TU.

(big breath)


For me, it is a big deal,
it's not exactly unexpected,
but it is an accelerated schedule...
(thought I'd have another year or two)

So, anyways, whatcya gonna do?

Roll with it, do the best that you can.
What else is there to do?

Recollect back to the third, fourth?, grade
and doing a report on water pollution.
One of the few 'gold stars' I remember.
Have always had a thing for clean water...

But Dad is a pilot and I wanted to design aeroplanes.

So I learned how to do that...but aeroplanes ,
are just things. Just, things.

And my Dad is also a fisherman,
and so am I, always have been,
same as him.

And we need clean water for that.
And we need clean water to live.


So, as scary as it is, as daunting as the task
may seem, it's a path I gotta follow, it's a path
I want to take....it's gonna be interesting,
that's for sure.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

teh rut.

Not that I'm necessarily in one,
but they happen.

What do you do about it?


We're getting into July, some streams get warm,
those streams lose their reliable spring hatches.
Reliable fishing becomes less so.

Dog. Days.

They're 'bout here dontchyaknow?

So do you keep pounding the water,
trying to match those springtime numbers?

Or do you take a step back?
Reboot, re-prioritze things?

Couple seasons ago, I woulda been out there,
bouncing ants off the overhanging Letort grasses
from the heat of the post work day 'til the
sun went down...but dang, it sure is hot out there.
(And have you seen my belly recently....)

Now, it's a harsh realization..amplified by
a recent typical Sunday spin, I need to
get in the saddle, I need to put my feet
on those pedals, and make 'em turn..

I. need. to.

Turn, turn, turn.

It's summertime man, it's
vacation time ya know?

The trouts like cold water.
The water gets warm 'round
this time of the year.

So take a break,
then come back
to it fresh,

Just Breath.

I've got my eye on a bike ride to do
and my girl & I just booked tickets
for our trip out to Montanny in Sept...

The time for clickin' the mental fish
counter is done for now, got other things
to tick off that list, official things to ponder,
and it's summertime, spread the love, let's enjoy it.

The trouts ain't goin' nowheres,
but I'm sure I'll keep in touch
with 'em, you can count on it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Life can get busy, you know?
I have ideas for things to post,
then they get lost during the
sometimes long drive home.

They'll resurface,
that's how it works.

Like I may have mentioned
previously, Trout Unlimited
is taking a bigger role in life.
I'm probably gonna be taking
on a much bigger role in it...
(there's still some thinkin' to do).
It's been an interesting 'ramping
up' over the last couple years,
to say the least.
Catching up on leadership manuals,
absorbing online versions of seminars,
learning about 'best practices' and
figuring out how all that works in
the real world, does it work?

So it's nice, it's so nice when
there's a chance to actually get
out onto the water, cuz that's
what all that work is about.

It's about the water.  And sharing it,
and preserving it, conserving it and
hoping (ensuring?) there'll be a next
generation to follow in these shallow
footsteps we leave behind.

Last week was the Youth Conservation
Camp at Allenberry.  It's a good thing to
see, it's rewarding to be a part of it. It
was eye opening yet again, being just
a bit more involved than last year.

Sure, it's a 'summer camp' type thing
I guess, but it's strenuous, what these
kids go through.  Lots and lots of
classroom time, balanced by some
much needed time on the the stream,
for everybody involved I'm sure.

I helped out with the evening fishing
sessions, ghillie-ing for the kids, offering
advice, a helping hand...basically being
a guide for the night.  Very interesting
experience, guiding, working with kids,
things I rarely do.

But like I mentioned, it's all about the
water...rejuvenating, refreshing cold water.
It's rewarding to share it and sometimes more
so just to experience it.  Sneak away for
some solo time just to find out what's there.

So thankful that I often find these
beautiful creatures there, leftovers
from the Ages of Ice....

I grew up playing down in the creek,
I can't imagine ever not doing so, and
I sure hope our's isn't one of the last
generations to do so.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Game.

What game do you play?

Bike racing was easy, you toe the line.
Someone with a microphone and a
stopwatch yells "GO!"

And then you see how fast it takes to
ride from A to B to C and back to A, 
for the most part.  You can challenge
yourself by the rig you chose to pedal, 
but the basics are pretty much the same.

Who can get round that loop the fastest?

Fishin', this fishing stuff is different.
It can give the same satisfactions, but 
methods, paths, are different. How do you 
satisfy that competitive streak? What, who 
are you competing against, how do you keep 
score? If at all.....

I don't find fishing to be competitive, but it 
sure can be. You see the grainy old grinning 
pictures of bushels of fishes..

"Look how well we did!"

There is the ego, the one upsmanship.
All of that is there buried in those long ago
smiles.  And you can see the posts online; 
'Caught a 21"er last night on a blahblaahblah' 
'Fished a Class A, brought 30, 40, 50 to hand.'

ooooooo, aahhhhhhh.
(not that I'm 100% ego free mind you...I do have my proud moments)

Last wknd bumped into a fella on the stream,
standard etiquette dictates that you ask:
"How you been doin' this morning?"

"Caught 16 so far, couple browns, one @ 13 1/2", 
the rest brookies. You?"

"uhhmmm, yeah been catching enough to
keep it enjoyable, dozenish or so I guess....kinda 
lost track...beautiful morning eh?"

Truth is, I usually quit counting after I catch 3.
Three is enough to eat, three satisfies that root 
core reason to be fishing in the first place, can
I feed myself if need be?

Sometimes I keep track up to 5 or maybe 6.
Though one night on the Letort I brought 12, or 
was it 14?, to hand...now that was a remarkable 
evening. Will never forget that one and as far as 
I know, that's the most I've ever caught in one 
outing, anywhere...I just can't/wont keep track.

But anyways, so I'm not much of a fish counter,
or measurer.  Sometimes I wonder if I should'nt 
cut that pointy bit off the hook of the fly and 
just be satisfied with the take. Maybe that's a little 
toooo zen and shit though...

I'm satisfied that I made the cast, that I rose to the 
challenge of making that technical presentation.  
Waving that fancy bendy stick 'round just right 
does take some skill after all.  Dropping that fly 
into the proverbial teacup, with that just right
amount of slack in the leader & line to get that 
ideal drift.  Inducing that unflinching unquestioning 
take from that peabrained evolutionary instinctual 
relic, it is quite the challenge at times.

And that's the game I like to play. 

So don't expect to see too many trophy grip n grin 
pics 'round here, that's just not my style, just not 
my focus right now. Not that I don't like catching 
some big trouts here and there when I can, when 
luck is on my side. But the tried and true methods 
for that just aint my cup of tee. Throwing those big 
meaty flies on 1, 2 or 3x with 6/7/8 wts, swinging 
sink tip lines down deep or at night.... might be 
something to try as a novelty, but I doubt that'll
ever be my day to day goto.

I prefer lighter lines strung up on nicely crafted,
sweet casting bamboo sticks.  Be stealthy, find 
that trout on the feed and make that cast,
up under those branches or across these glassy
currents, getting that fly to drift oh so prettily.

That's my game for now and the rewards 
are often simple and always beautiful, 
I've earned my trophies elsewhere...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

At the VIce

Been workin' some of those longer
hours at work lately, ahhh the day job,
nothin' like consistent 50+hr weeks, but
I'm finding the groove, for what it is.

Leaves me pretty drained during the
week after punching the clock from 6 'til 5.
Been unwinding with some light chores
around the house, mowing my fresh little yard
with my fresh little electric mower, rewarding
in its own right. And of course sneaking out
to fish when the sleep schedule and those
chores allow. (Do still pedal a bike on occasion,
you shoulda seen Jill bunny hoppin' those Swatara
logs on Sunday!)

But sometimes it's daunting to gear up for
post workday activity, motivation can be
lacking when the eyes are heavy, ya know?

So I've been passing an evening here or there
sitting at the vice, tinkering with patterns, filling
already full boxes. Whatchya gonna do?

Have never tied with golden pheasant, turns out
that that's the tail of the original Adams from 1922,
one of my favorites (and also used in the uber classique
Royal Coachman series). The Adam's has evolved into
the modern standard, now a Catskill style tie w/ blended
hackle fibres for the tail & upright hackle tip wings, which
is what I tie for the CVTU Youth Camp we host. Three
dozen size 16's with a half dozen or so rejects will really
help ya dial it in...

I bought a golden pheasant head a little while back,
so may as well use it.  The original pattern calls for
hackle tip wings, tied in forward and semi-spent for
the wings, then split those tails (or not) with a bump
of thread, the dubbing aint the ideal grey wool, but
close enough for now...I imagine some hungry trouts
will find these delectable.

And then on Saturday the fellas were talkin' about a
pattern they'd slayed 'em on in Montana last fall, the
'Purple Haze.'

'Just an Adams, but purple...' they said.

So I figured I'd try my hand at it and whipped up a
couple of 14's & a couple of 16's with what I had
laying about. I imagine a brookie will eat it, hell
they'll eat just about anything if you can feed it
to 'em just right...only one way to find out  guess.

Swapped out the Pearsall's black silk for purple, dubbed
with cinnamon ice uv instead of the grey, fun fly to tie.

Monday, June 9, 2014

CVTU Field Trip

I don't often fish with other folks, other
than my dad, my special lady and her father.
So this was kinda new to me.

Our TU Chapter (there's a linky over there ---->)
put together a fishin' trip up to East Licking Creek,
Juniata County. Figured this was a good chance
to get to know some of the fellas away from the
meetings, help out a little bit with lunch and break
in the new little camera.

Arrived at Karl Guss Picnic area, shook some hands
and decided to rig up and fish down below the park,
basically heading in the opposite direction of most
everybody else.  Was a good couple of morning hours
on the water, picked up a nice little wild brown that I
had mistaken for a tiger at first, then the brookies got
hungry in the riffles and it was bang bang bang if you
were able to make the cast.

Reeled in around noonish to get back up to the pavilion,
Ken had kielbasa and 'kraut warming on the Coleman
dual burner, 'dogs were on the grill and picnic sides set
out for us to chow on. Plenty of stories were shared, beta
collected for Montana this fall and then we hit the water
again for another hour or so.  Fishin' was slower as expected,
but still found a brookie or two to play with, switching from
the floaty CDC & Elk caddis to my red headed softhackle.

good times.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Now that the intro is done,
time for some content I guess.

What to talk about, do feel a bit
of rust on the blogginess...

Well, I did sneak in some fishin' over the wknd,
made a trip up to State College for the TU Mid-A
Regional Conference. Been getting involved
more and more with TU, was mildly involved
back in the mid-90's for a few years after I moved
to this little trout mecca of Carlisle, PeeYay.

I've always had a thing for clean water, and TU
is a good fit for me. Lots of folks concentrate on
the fishing, I prefer to focus on the water, knowing
that if the water is taken care of, the trouts will be there.

That's just how it works.

Anyways, yeah, joined back up a few years ago,
got more involved with the local chapter and was
approached about serving on the Chapter's Board.
It's been in with both feet for the last year or so.
There's so much going on in our area and our chapter
has quite the heritage, it's been a bit humbling,
overwhelming and certainly rewarding, just doing
what I can and learning along the way.

So, the meeting was good, learned a bunch, had
some doubts quelled for the time being and it was
a good recharge of the advocacy battery, a wknd
well spent.

Plus I did sneak in some good fishin'.

Stopped at Reedsville during the commute, thought I'd
check out the Kishacoquillas, but ended up rigging up
to wet a line in Honey Creek instead.  Running late-ish,
didn't get there 'til 7, which is just perfect for sulphurs btw.
Pulled into the community park and took a stroll before
rigging up, if at all. Found an older gentleman swinging a
wooly bugger thru the big bend pool.

"Any luck?"

"Nah, just one bump, that's all.."

Glance at my watch, "Wonder if it's worth rigging up,
only got an hour or so left to fish..."

"It's always worth it," he replied with a grin...

Yeah, he was right, it always is. The sulphurs made an
appearance and an hour later I hooked up with this wild
beauty of brown, strong enough to pull some line and
make the little Hardy purrrrr....it's important to
listen to your elders. Lesson (re)learned....

Monday, June 2, 2014


So, it's been a while.

Had a blog for a bit, it's still there and
was mostly all about the journey by bike,
I was mostly all about the bike.

 But things change.


 Yeah, now that's a word to chew on.

 But change, for me at least, is often cyclical.

The bikes are there/still here, the
bikes are still fun, but things change.

And now there's time, time for other things,
and passions get rebalanced, rebooted.

So why not start something fresh,  something new.
But something which really isn't, Lord knows I've
been fishin' for as long as I've been pedalin'..

The bikes...that was a particular mindset
and the rekindled passion for fishing,
the passion for the trouts, for the chars,
it is a different mindset, yet still the same.
It's not a mindset, it's a passion.

The roots, quite similar.

Because it is me, it does come from me,
it is within me, so it is the same.

But, it is different.

So, this new blog, it might be different,
or it might end up being quite the same.
(Words and pictures and links and my voice,
how different can it really be?)

I just know, that I've always liked this
format of communicating via the blog.
(What the fuck is a hashtag anyways?)

So I'm starting this one,
kinda from scratch,
kinda not really.

And if you've managed to find it, welcome.

Hopefully you'll find something here you like.
Hopefully it's entertaining, hopefully it's a decent
enough read that you'll come back and maybe,
just maybe, you'll learn something from something
I might share. So, who knows, it sure don't cost nuthin'...

So, well, anyways, let's get started.

Here's a Letort brown I was lucky to hook up with last week,
fooled by an old school partridge and yellow soft hackle swung
just right, sure was a pretty fish.